I woke up this morning with a full heart.
Last night some of my dearest friends came into town and played a show and several of my friends from Austin came out to see the show and meet our Nashville friends. We laughed, and danced, I sipped whiskey in all it's forms and we stayed out until late night became early morning. I looked around last night and realized that I was truly happy to be out with my friends. This was really, really special because this time last year anytime I made plans they'd come with this perpetual dread. It would always come up when anytime I’d go on a trip, or a friend would visit, or anytime I’d have more than three different places to be in a day, I’d stress out about it. Plans made me anxious. Being away from home all day made me anxious (thanks PTSD!) and traveling anywhere for more than a weekend made me anxious. Deeply, deeply anxious and that anxiety would keep me at home on the couch perpetuating the whole issue.
In July I had a few conversations with a money coach and my therapist about how important to me spontaneity is, even though at the time it was not a part of my life at all because of my great desire to just stay home. So I did the best thing I knew to do! We already had a trip to Charleston planned with no agenda. Just Tucker and I, and a few dinner reservations. But I made no plans. I didn't take any photos. I stepped out of myself and we had a blast. We talked to strangers who became friends, and we went to catch crabs and fish on a pier with them. We cooked dinner at their house. We stayed out late at night and tried new places. The owner of a coffee shop offered to get us into the South Carolina Aquarium for free, so we walked a mile a half with him and he walked us in and left us with the loggerhead turtles. And I learned that I get more joy out of saying yes to things more often than not.
I also started saying yes to getting out of town when I had the time. I went to Tulsa, Oklahoma because Tucker was going for a coffee industry event. While I was there I got to hang out with two people who were strangers to me at the time, but who I now consider dear friends.
I began wondering what would happen if I got over my fear of airplanes and just started traveling more and ended up taking a trip to New York. I learned so much about myself on that trip, much of which I'm still understanding, but the entire trip was full of saying yes. Yes to lunch alone and having one of the best meals of my life. Yes to going to the Guggenheim with a friend from Austin who was there on separate trip. Yes to drinks with an internet friend who turned out to be one of the kindest people I've ever met. Yes to Chinese Food and watching all of Stranger Things 2 the day it came out. Yes to meeting Tucker in Minneapolis directly afterwards to see the friends from Tulsa instead of heading directly back home.
Last night, as I was standing under the glow of blue and green stage lights, whiskey ginger in hand, at a show that started at 10pm, I realized that this lesson I've learned over the past year has permeated. I've began planning trips for the year. I've started saying yes to projects in other states and will begin traveling more for work in the new year. I've learned that I like to say yes to things and doing so helps me learn more about who I am at my core.
My intuition told me to tell you this story today. So here I am, doing it.